Statement on the Expansion of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” law

Advocates for Youth strongly condemns the expansion of Florida’s “don’t say gay or trans” bill to include grades 4-12.  Though the bill permits teachers in higher grades to include sexual orientation and gender identity in sex education, it needlessly bans LGBTQ history and literature, and stigmatizes LGBTQ youth and families. 

“What do we call it when someone is singled out and abused for being who they are?  We call it homophobic and transphobic bullying,” said Debra Hauser, President, Advocates for Youth.  “The State of Florida is ordering schools to bully some of our most vulnerable young people. This is an absolutely perverse rejection of the mission of every school, which is to provide quality education in a safe environment to all students.”  

“This law has already led to confusion, loss of educational materials, and book banning. Florida’s mission appears to be one entirely inspired by homophobia and transphobia, to erase LGBTQ students and their families. Young people will not stand by as they and their friends and loved ones are harmed. They are organizing to support one another and defeat this law. We need to follow their lead and join in their efforts to ensure LGBTQ youth are safe, included, and celebrated for who they are.”